View Full Version : Passive Cooling Solutions for SFF PC?
11-24-2003, 09:20 PM
Anyone know of a good passive CPU cooling solution for a small form factor system? I've got an Ideq 200N. I've become obsessed with eliminating noise. I'm going to get a quieter hard drive and a passively-cooled 9600XT (when it becomes available), but I've come to the conclusion that I need to do something about my CPU fan.
Since I also use my Ideq box as my TV/digital VCR, it would have the added bonus of allowing me to leave it running all night without the fan bugging the hell out of me.
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
11-24-2003, 10:44 PM
Are you running their fan control app? With the fan at 40% (fine when I'm not gaming on it) I can't barely hear the CPU fan from across the room.
11-25-2003, 11:46 AM
Yeah, I'm using that app, and it does wonders to the noise. You can hear it kick in upon login, the fan spins down to about 50-percent. But it's still relatively noisy in a quiet room.
I'm definately wondering just how much noise my GeForce4 fan makes, and I've got a loud hard drive (Maxtor). So until I replace those two parts, I won't know just how loud my CPU fan really is.
11-25-2003, 01:46 PM
Does the IDEQ fit those Shuttle Heat Pipes properly?
I've been running a heat pipe with an oversized fan (mounted externally), and an undervolted PSU fan on my server for about 9 months. No problems.
(Server is an SS40 with an Athlon 1900 running mail, web, and serving as a router).
11-25-2003, 09:19 PM
It is very difficult to silence shuttle boxes because of the small size. Bigger fans mean you can run them at lower RPMs which means low noise. For example in this PC I have a 92mm on the heatsink at 5 volts, and a 120mm exhaust on the PSU and another 120mm on the case.
Pure passive is very expensive and you'd pretty much have to build it yourself. There's some German company that sells a passive PC but it came out to something like $3000 US dollars.
If you have an AMD XP or a P4 in that shuttle what you could do is undervolt the CPU. Heat drops dramatically.
I have an older shuttle box (SV25). It has a thermalright SK6. It was the biggest heatsink I could fit, in fact I can't even put a fan on it. The only fan is one intake fan from the top/back. The cpu is very low wattage thought, it's a Via C3 (a celeron would probably give better performance at a similar low power usage).
The annoying thing was the 40mm fan on that PSU. So I chucked it and duct taped a real PSU on top of it, much quieter. Of course that destroys the point of a shuttle box, so I learned my lesson.
The loudest components are usually in this order:
1. CPU HS fan
2. PSU fan
3. Optical drives (can't do much about it other than ripping and playing everything off a hard drive)
3. Video card (easy solution, zalman heatpipe)
4. Northbridge (easy, remove and put a $10 zalman heatsink on it)
5. hard drives. You can use grommets on the cage to reduce vibrations. If you want to tweak you can suspend it with elastic in a 5.25" cage, that's probably easiest simple solution. This will dampen seek noises dramatically, but some drives just won't be quiet no matter what you do to them (example, western digital JB series).
11-26-2003, 06:18 AM
If you decide the duct-taped PSU isn't your long term solution, run over to CompUSA and buy their "chipset cooling kit." It comes with a nice little fan that is a) almost silent and b) fits nicely in the Shuttle PSUs (I'm using one in my SV24 and another in my SS40). 8 months of straight uptime on the SS40 without a hiccup, so I can't complain.
I'm also running a Via C3 800 in the SV24, with a standard P3 heatsink (no fan -- in fact the PSU fan and an undervolted 80mm are the only fans in the box), and, well, the heatsink barely gets warm after hours of operation! Gotta love the heat efficiency of the C3 (although performance is... sub-optimal).
Also, the newer Shuttles are *much* quieter than their older brethren!
Woolen, any luck on a heat pipe solution? Maybe check the forums at sfftech.com?
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